Hundreds of British and Irish property investors have formed a group aimed at trying to get back £6 million paid for apartments in advance in a Bulgarian resort where work has now stopped.
About 300 investors are furious that the development company mortgaged the properties to pay construction costs despite many of them being paid for in full in advance. They say this is gross financial mismanagement.
The investors, who point out that they are ordinary people, not businessmen or large scale investors, are concerned that they will not seen any of the money they invested in the Pirin Park project because the future of the enterprise in Bansko now appears uncertain.
They have formed the Pirin Park Resort Residential Association which is involved in negotiations aimed at resolving the mess with the construction companies and other parties involved.
They claim that a combination of bad circumstances, poor management and corruption have combined to leave them in the lurch. Their anger is directed in particular against Bulgarian Development UK, a British based company, for using their money as a bank guarantee.
The Bulgarian Development Company says it has faced problems but it has not been involved in any financial mismangement. It has insisted that it was obliged to adopt such measures in order to pay the MRI construction company in full and that complications cropped up when MRI stopped work and now the project has stalled despite investors paying in advance.
It is now likely that the Bulgarian Development Company will declare bankruptcy. This could mean the investors may not get their money unless a buyer is found to take over the project.
The investors believe that the Bulgarian courts are unable to help them. They have also looked at European law to see if they have any kind of recourse. Ultimately they are worried that properties which have been fully paid for from the beginning and should belong to their rightful owners could be requisitioned and sold on to someone else.